The One and Only Ivan is a children’s book written by Katherine Applegate and published in 2012. It centers on a gorilla named Ivan, who has been stuck in a cage at the mall for many, many years. The first person narrative form takes readers on a deep ride through the mind of Ivan, who is describing his compelling story. The children’s novel has won the Newbery Medal Award and became a #1 New York Times bestseller.
It has received an overwhelming amount of positive criticism since it’s release. The School Library Journal commented, “Will capture readers’ hearts and never let go. A must have.” Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor author of The Underneath, said, “Katherine Applegate’s beautiful, life-affirming story will soar directly from Ivan’s heart into your own. Read it out loud. Read it alone. Read it.” Kirkus Reviews said, “Exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.”
The One and Only Ivan is a fictional book, but it was based on the real gorilla, Ivan, who suffered in a similar situation for 27 years. However, eventually, he got adopted into the Zoo Atlanta. There, he has become a “celebrity” and lives happily with his fellow gorillas.
This touching book has warmed many hearts and being based on a true story, has made it even more powerful to readers around the world. It has been translated into several languages, has become a #1 best seller on different bookselling platforms such as Amazon, and has 4.5 stars on Goodreads and Common Sense Media.